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New Belgian licence plates to begin with 2 from new year
Newly registered cars in Belgium will carry number plates starting with "2" from early next year, instead of "1", the federal mobility ministry has confirmed.
The new plates will be issued from late January or early February and will use the same pattern of seven numbers and letters as now - for example: 2-ABC-123.
The switch to "2" is because all the possible combinations beginning with "1" have been used up since they were introduced in 2010.
Eleven million "1" plates were issued, while some combinations were skipped because they contain religious or political references, such as GOD or the acronym of a political party.
A few thousand "2" plates are already in circulation as a test to ensure they are read correctly by automatic number-plate recognition cameras.
Older vehicles, registered before 2010, have three letters followed by three numbers. Zero-emissions vehicles begin with Z and taxis and private hire cars with T.
Another 50,000 vehicles in Belgium carry personalised number plates, including COVID-19 and CATCH-ME.